Gottfried von Cramm - Nominee

1909 - 1976

Baron Gottfried von Cramm, born on July 7, 1908, in Nettlingen, Germany, was the third son of Baron von Cramm. Strikingly handsome, the six foot tall blond grew up to become one of the greatest tennis players of all time. Known on the court as ‘The Baron’ not only for his title, but for his good looks and courtesy, von Cramm won the French Open in 1934 and 1936, ranking number two in the world in both those years. In 1937 he was ranked number one worldwide. At Wimbledon, he was second to Fred Perry in 1935 and 1936. In 1937, Don Budge and von Cramm faced off in what has been called one of the greatest tennis matches in history, in front of the British King at Wimbledon. Representing Nazi Germany, von Cramm once again came in second. Though his blonde good looks and athleticism made him appear to be an Aryan ideal, von Cramm boldly chose not to endorse Nazism during WWII. In 1938 von Cramm was arrested, tried and convicted by the Nazis of homosexuality after admitting to a relationship with actor Manasse Herbst in the early 1930s. Von Cramm spent much of the year in prison. After his release, Von Cramm was prevented by the Nazis from defending his title at the French Open, and from playing in the US Open. The United States Tennis Association barred him from playing since he was recently released from prison and an accused homosexual. Despite the obstacles and the war, von Cramm played a total of 111 Davis Cup matches and won six German titles. Von Cramm was married twice- the first time to Baroness Elisabeth von Dobeneck from 1930 to 1937 and the second time to Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton from 1955-1960. Von Cramm died in a car accident while on a business trip in Cairo, Egypt, on November 8, 1976 and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame the following year.

Demography

Gender Male

Sexual Orientation Bisexual

Gender Identity Cisgender

Ethnicity Caucasian/White

Nations Affiliated Germany France

Era/Epoch Great Depression (1929-1939) World War II (1939-1945)

Field(s) of Contribution

Athletics

Business

Military

Commemorations & Honors

Wimbledon Mixed Doubles Winner (1933)

French Open Singles Winner (1934)

French Open Singles Winner (1936)

French Open Doubles Winner (1937)

U.S. Open Doubles Winner (1937)

Time Magazine Cover (1937)

Iron Cross Award for Bravery (1940)

Posthumous International Tennis Hall of Fame Master Player Inductee (1977)

Muliple Years Davis Cup Winner

Authorship

Original Biography Author
Owen Keehnen
Biography Edited By
Victor Salvo
Resources Coordination
Carrie Maxwell